“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost”
“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet, he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, tomorrow, a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.”
“The power which resides in [each person] is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. (…) Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
“Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion… Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.”
“The great [wo]man is [s]he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
“We all have the same inner life. The difference lies in the recognition.
The artist has to recognize what it is.”